How Long do Gel Nails Last? This question has a few different answers. I would say the typical or most common amount of time would be/should be 3 weeks. This is sort of the sweet spot. Though I have many clients that come every two weeks because they like to keep them fresh. Some ladies like to wait a month. I’m sure this has to do with finances. Which I completely understand. I do have one client that sees me weekly. This is her treat as she has three kids under the age of seven!! And girlfriend needs to get away!
So, I have narrowed it down to 3 major factors when it comes to nail enhancement longevity.
This is referring to the overall shape of your natural nail. How large your nail bed is. Or how small for that matter. Large nail beds for example, don’t typically last very long before the gel starts lifting. Too much surface area allows for the large nail to move too much under the enhancement. Adding too much pressure to the gel and then, next thing you know they lift. Bad.
Small nail beds have the exact opposite problem. There isn’t enough surface area to properly build an apex. Therefore, the gel cannot absorb shock. These typically won’t last longer than two weeks. Gel Polish is really the best way to go here. With a typical gel polish you really only get two weeks anyway.
Natural nails that have a heavy natural curve may struggle with lifting. As with nails that are too flat. Kind of seeing a pattern here.
How long your gel nails last will also have to do with the nail technician. Whether that is you or someone you are paying for this service. I cannot stress enough how important it is to properly prep the nail before you start. Buffing, cleansing and priming are all integral steps and should never be skipped. The gel nails just simply won’t last. (One of my favorite primers is made by Orly gel fx: Nail Tip Primer)
If you or the tech apply the gel too thickly it will cause lifting. The same can be said for when the gel is applied to thin.
Experience definitely comes into play here. I would source out a nail tech that has a few years experience. Or someone who is referred to you by a friend. You’ve seen their work firsthand. Or if you are just starting out doing gel nails, don’t lose faith! Just keep practicing!
Genetics play a big part. Some people just naturally carry more oils on their nail plate than others. It’s just simply genetic. I do believe that diet may play a small part here, but mostly, you got it from your mama!
You can tell a client has oily nail plates at the buffing stage. A normal, non oily nail plate will buff easy. Meaning, the nail plate turns a nice chalky white all over the nail as you buff away any imperfections. An oily nail, on the other hand, will always stay a little shiny. No matter how much you buff. So very smart to identify this early on so not to risk over buffing.
I will usually break the news to my client. Just so her expectations aren’t too high. But if she has had them before she likely knows they don’t last long.
I really do believe in educating the clients so they know what they are up against. Once I start buffing and see that nice chalky white I start to celebrate with her. I tell her the difference between her nails and someone who isn’t quite as lucky. Also, we like to know the science behind things. Tell them why you think something may or may not work. Share your knowledge. It really just helps your relationship with your client and fosters trust between the two of you.
OK so I hope I have shed a little light on your expectations . We could definitely go into more detail when it comes to genetics and nail shape some of them are intertwined. But the average client has average nails. 85% of my clients really have no issues at all. My lovely client that comes every week, well she doesn’t have the best genetics for gel nails and they typically don’t even last her two weeks. She knows. I’ve educated her.
Some clients are just not good candidates for gel nail enhancements. You will figure this out quickly if you have tried every trick in the book. It is painful to turn someone away. Especially, if you are trying to build a business. But at the end of the day you don’t want to waste her time and money. Or, yours for that matter!
How long do gel nails last? Well, hopefully I have given you a little insight. I would say 2-3 weeks on average. There are a few factors that play into longevity, but overall that should be the rule of thumb. Whether you are paying for your nails or charging someone this is the standard. If you aren’t seeing these result there might be something else going on. Put the detective hat on 😉
Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you took something away from this today. Let me know if you have nail struggles or want me to touch on any other topics. I love hearing from you!
Good luck out there,
Cheyanne-The Nail Lamp Tramp
Check me out on Instagram!! www.instagram.com/cheyanne_nails